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Enter Battleground (Player vs. Player) (part 2)

Posted on Sat Jul 11th, 2015 @ 4:47pm by Unawakened Melissa Wilson

Mission: Pre-Awakening
Location: Shady Side - Mae's Burgers
Timeline: June 21st, 2010
Tags: Devon, Dev, Deo, Kyle, Valerie, Jeff, Mae, Spencer, Wilson

“Burger?” Kyle offered.

Kyle gestured to “Mae’s Burgers”, a local diner/old-fashioned soda shop. “Quaint” was one of the best terms for it, and certainly the most complimentary. The building looked like it came straight out of the fifties, and not in the cool, retro kind of way. “Mae” didn't seem to be one for updating her decor, but the scents coming out of the restaurant were certainly more appealing than the atmosphere.

It also seemed to be the sort of place that the local kids in Shady Side liked to hang out at. A few teenagers lounged on a white and red table outside the restaurant, laughing and teasing each other, and there were clearly more kids inside.

The agile artist tipped his sunglasses back on his head to have a better look. “Nope,” he sighed to himself, “that didn’t help.” He dropped the glasses back in place and shrugged, “It smells good. I hope it tastes better than it looks.”

“It does.” Kyle nodded. “Try the shakes. The chocolate shake is the best tasting thing in the world - assuming you like chocolate. Lisa swears their vanilla is better, but she wouldn’t know good taste if it walked up and slapped her. C’mon.”

Leading the way, the younger cousin led Deo inside. Inside didn’t look a whole lot better than outside - if the girls had been in poodle skirts and the men in leather jackets, it might have worked. The place was clean, for what it was, bright and cheerful if incredibly dated. Kyle waved to the waitress behind the counter as he grabbed a couple menus off the hostess stand and slid in to a nearby booth. “They’re cool here. Don’t get me wrong, they'll probably look at you funny because of the tattoos and stuff, but, they’re cool.”

“This is too weird,” Deo laughed, a bit self-consciously. He never expected to become a spectacle. Like Kyle said, a few faces looked up at the stranger with earrings and tattoos, but once they seemed satisfied that he was not a hoodlum, they returned to their business. Deo leaned across the table to whisper to Kyle, “Dude, I’m sorry.”

“For what?” Kyle furrowed his brow over the edge of the menu.

“You are ‘so’ getting piled under at school with questions.” The Greek boy laughed. “What’s he like? What planet is he from? You have my permission to make shit up.”

“Like I wouldn’t anyway.” Kyle laughed. “You know, different story for each person who asks, each one crazier than the last. It’ll be fun to mess with people at school.”

“Tell me how it goes later,” Deo laughed and looked over the menu. He noted fewer selections but they were classics and surprisingly tasty by their descriptions.

A somewhat grizzled, but no less burly older woman came up to the table. “You boys know what you want?” She asked, her voice raspy with many obvious years of smoking taking their toll.

“I'll take a double cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake. Thanks Mae,” Kyle grinned, handing over his menu. “The usual.”

Mae smirked, shaking her head. She turned to Deo expectantly.

Deo only just kept from staring, as Mae could have been a dead ringer for Harvey’s overworked older sister by a different mother(pronounced “Muh-duh” in Harvese), complete with a chain smoker’s croak and the unmistakable expression that said, beyond words, “I’m too old for this.”

“Ah…,” the Greek boy shut his jaw with a click of teeth and affixed a pleasant smile that service personnel the world over knew as completely fake. “Hi, Mae,” he picked up like a trooper and turned his attention back to the menu. “What’s the chilly dog like?”

"Like a hot dog with chili on it." Mae croaked. "What d'you expect? It ain't cold, despite the name of it."

Kyle snickered. Mae seemed to approve.

Deo worked his mouth a second but no sound came out. Finally, he laughed, “Okay, as long as it has a bun we’re good. He feigned a look of worry for effect, “Wait, it has a bun, doesn’t it? Please tell me it has a bun?”

"I'll see if we got one." Mae shrugged noncommittally as she wandered off with their orders.

Kyle snickered. "Usually comes with a bun. I'll be curious to see what you get."

"Does it count that she didn't take the rest of my order?" Deo snickered, feeling more upbeat. The college boy leaned back and draped an arm across the back of his seat, his fingers tapping restlessly to Golden Oldies playing over the sound system. “Tainted Love,” really? he thought. He considered his talk with his young cousin and it hit him how Kyle had no one he could really open up to and have fun with in a way that felt natural for him. The solution seemed simple enough and yet, given how people reacted to Deo, it suddenly seemed harder.

No wonder he’s having a tough time, Deo mused. He would have to be careful but it was important to give Kyle that necessary outlet. He was family. It was Deo’s responsibility to help.

He leaned forward, keeping his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “The guys here are bit young for my taste. See anybody you like?”

Kyle chuckled nervously, glancing around. "Uhhh... I guess there’s... Oh shit." He quickly turned back to the table, sliding down in his booth seat.



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